Vishnu Persaud to be appointed Chief Elections Officer 

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….as Justice Singh throws her support behind the Gov’t nominee 

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), in a majority decision, voted to have Vishnu Persaud appointed Chief Elections Officer (GECOM) over Jamaica’s Leslie Harrow.

The decision was arrived at on Friday after hours of deliberation which ended with the Chairman of the Elections Commission, Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh voting with the Government-nominated Commissioners – Sase Gunraj, Bibi Shadick and Manoj Narayan – to have Persaud appointed.

Throughout the process, the Elections Commissioners were divided on whether Persaud had reached the criteria set out by the Elections Commission for the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) post.


Though Persaud worked at GECOM’s Secretariat for well over 10 years, for the majority of that period he served as the Public Relations Officer (PRO).

In fact, Persaud was first appointed in 2001 as the Public Relations Officer (PRO). In 2014, he was appointed substantive DCEO, however, when his contract expired in August 2017, it was not renewed, though efforts were made to do so. As such, it can be deduced that Persaud only served in a senior managerial position for a period of three years while at the Elections Commission.

During the deliberations, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) aligned Commissioners reportedly sought to include Persaud’s 13 years as a PRO as experience gained in a managerial post, though according to GECOM’s organizational chart, a PRO does not form part of senior management.

Based on the requirements set by GECOM, Candidates for the CEO post, must have a Post Graduate Degree in Public Administration, Law or Management and specific training and verifiable experience in managing election systems along with at least 10 years of experience in a senior management position overseeing and directing diverse operations aimed at achieving targets within specific deadlines. Additionally, they are required to have at least 10 years of experience in Management of National Elections and Election Systems.

According to Persaud’s profile, he has a Master of Business Administration in Business Administration and Management from the Anglia Ruskin University and a Level 5 Certificate in Elections Management from the Chartered Management Institute in the UK. Aside from working at GECOM, Persaud worked as the Personal Assistant to the Minister of Fisheries Crops and Livestock (1999-2001) under the PPP/C Administration.

Harrow, on the other hand, served as the Director-General of Jamaica’s Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and Regional Manager at the Electoral Commission of Jamaica. He has a Professional Masters in Operations Management from the City and Guild of London Institute and an Executive Masters of Business Administration from the Commonwealth of Learning/University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC).

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